Shae Simmons Rumors

Shae Simmons Undergoes Tommy John Surgery

The Braves have announced that right-hander Shae Simmons underwent Tommy John surgery today and will miss the 2015 season as he rehabs from the procedure.

Simmons, 24, surfaced with the Braves in late May and enjoyed a very strong run through the end of July, but a sore shoulder cost him the final two months of the season. While healthy, the former 22nd-round pick notched a 2.91 ERA with 23 strikeouts against 11 walks in 21 2/3 innings. He allowed just one home run and posted an excellent 52.8 percent ground-ball rate to go along with an average fastball velocity of 94.9 mph.

The news continues a run of bad luck the Braves (and the entire league, in a more general sense) have had with Tommy John surgery over the past year. Last spring, Atlanta lost both Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen to torn ulnar collateral ligaments, essentially wiping out 40 percent of their projected starting rotation. That led to the signing of both Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang, who performed admirably in their stead.

As MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets, the Braves say that Simmons began complaining of elbow discomfort last week. That may very well explain some of the team’s motivation for bringing in a vast array of experienced right-handers over the past week. Atlanta has added Jose Veras, Todd Coffey and Matt Capps on minor league pacts over the past three days, each of whom will be in Spring Training in hopes of securing a spot in the bullpen.


East Notes: A-Rod, Rays, Nationals, Braves

The Yankees have a mess on their hands as they look to assemble their 2015 roster and the presence of Alex Rodriguez complicates matters, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Bombers hope that A-Rod can contribute at third at least on a part-time basis and serve as a solid DH option. If he can do neither, they’re unlikely to cut him due to his three-year, $61MM deal. Not only would it look bad for ownership, but A-Rod needs to fully show he can’t play if there is any chance of recouping some of that money through insurance. More from the AL and NL East..

  • If the Dodgers come calling for Rays GM Andrew Friedman, the opportunity will have appeal, but it’s not a given that he’d go, as Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune writes. Friedman enjoys the challenge of competing with the Yankees and Red Sox with fewer resources and is loyal to Tampa Bay owner Stuart Sternberg. By the same token, the challenge may not motivate him the same way forever.
  • Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times agrees that Friedman has a comfortable situation with the Rays.  When considering his relationships with Sternberg, team president Matt Silverman, and manager Joe Maddon, Friedman has something in Tampa Bay that few other decision makers enjoy.
  • Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider looks at the Nationals‘ second base options for 2015. If the Nationals wants to stick with what they know, they can re-sign Asdrubal Cabrera or give Danny Espinosa another shot at earning the job. Otherwise, they’ll have to go out of house.  The free agent market is rather thin at the position, especially if the Rays pick up Ben Zobrist‘s $7.5MM option.  However, teams like the Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Cubs are deep with middle infielders and could be potential trade partners.
  • The time is now for the next wave of the Braves‘ homegrown talent like Christian Bethancourt and pitchers Alex Wood, Shae Simmons, and Chasen Shreve to step up and become bigger contributors in 2015, opines Bill Ballew of Baseball America (subscription required).

Minor Moves: Ramirez, Ayala, Adams, Simmons

Here are today’s minor moves from around baseball.

  • The Orioles have agreed to terms with pitcher Ramon Ramirez, MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski tweets. Ramirez will report to Sarasota before heading to Triple-A Norfolk. Ramirez had previously made four appearances this year for the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma. He played sparingly for the Giants last season and spent most of the year at Triple-A Fresno, where he had a 3.46 ERA with 10.7 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9. In addition to that of the Giants, the righty has also pitched out of the Rockies, Royals, Red Sox and Mets bullpens.
  • Reliever Luis Ayala is opting out of his minor-league deal with the Orioles, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Ayala pitched 5 1/3 innings for Double-A Bowie, striking out five and walking two while allowing three runs. He pitched for the Braves and Orioles in 2013, posting a 2.90 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 31 innings.
  • Outfielder Brian Adams, the Padres‘ eighth-round pick in the 2012 draft, has retired, MLB.com’s Corey Brock tweets. In 410 career plate appearances at the Class A level, Adams hit .219/.262/.356. Brock notes that Adams will go back to the University of Kentucky to finish his degree.
  • The Braves have announced that they’ve purchased the contract of pitcher Shae Simmons from Double-A Mississippi and optioned pitcher Ian Thomas to Triple-A Gwinnett. Simmons, 23, shined at Double-A, posting an ERA of 0.78 to go with 11.7 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9.
  • The Marlins have signed 18-year-old Colombian pitcher Cristian Olmos, Joe Frisaro and Maria Torres of MLB.com write. Olmos is 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, and he throws as hard as 94 MPH and has the makings of a good curveball. He will start the season in the Dominican Summer League.